Northern Ireland

Ash cloud boosted Irish Ferries

Ferry operator Irish Continental Group (ICG) has reported pre-tax profits of 8.2m euros for the first half of 2010, up from 5.8m euros last year.

Its performance was helped by an increase in passenger numbers, attributed to the disruption caused to air traffic by the volcanic ash cloud.

Passenger numbers grew by 12% to 695,700, helping to offset a fall in roll-on/roll-off freight volumes.

ICG operates on routes between Ireland, the UK and continental Europe.

Profits rose at its Irish Ferries division rose from 3.9m euros in the first half of last year to 6.5m euros.

Profits in the container and terminal business fell to 2.3m euros mainly due to restructuring costs in Dublin.

ICG, which is chaired by Northern Ireland businessman John B McGuckian, said trading in July and August had followed the first-half pattern, with increased passenger and car numbers, but roll-on/roll-off freight down.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites